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Saturday, December 11, 2010

Christmas in the making...



Made a few batches of blackberry jelly and raspberry jam the other day. The berries were all off the farm. I picked 'em and tossed them in the freezer, because it's always too busy here to do jam when they are ripe. The blackberrys are a wild berry that is called a Himalaya and the seeds are huge, so after freezing, I juice them to strain out the seeds. My daughters prefer the jelly to cranberry sauce with the turkey and I like to spread it on fresh pancakes. Yum!

I am going to give the jam to friends, neighbors and family along with a basket with some bread or biscuits, some homemade cocoa mix and chex mix and whatever else pops into my head to make. I'm sending my niece a box with dilly beans, pickled beets and two or three other types of jams. Since her mom (my oldest sister) had a stroke and is in an assisted living facility, she doesn't get to enjoy those special things and my sister unfortunately never taught her daughters to make them.

Anyhow, I got to thinking about the homemade aspect after reading a few blogs and I think I'll talk to my daughters about next Christmas being homemade or secondhand, with the exception of the stockings (that way momma can throw in a gift card or two). Since the girls are older now (with the exception of the 14 year old) I think they'll go for that. It will mean we all have to think ahead this year, but thats a good thing. I've already started a mini-list in my mind for what to start thinking about. The son-in-law and boyfriend will be the hardest, but I can look for DVD's at yard sales, etc. that are used that they will like.

I have already started this year with the gift baskets and sending some young nieces and nephews and grandsons some "found" treasures like used DVD's and games, so moving into it full on will be easy for me, I'll just have to figure on lots of calls from the daughters... Which is fine with me, I love hearing from them!

2 comments:

  1. Everyone always tells me just to give homemade baskets too. The problem I have is it would mostly just be the jams/jelly type because the acutal food-food...we eat thru out the year. So I'm torn because it's alot of work to put up all that food and then I feel bad that I don't want to give it away. So I struggle with making myself feel selfish. So this year I am doing sort of a bread basket. One loaf of homemade bread and english muffin along with 1/2 pint jars of a few different jams.

    What do you think? Would you feel bad or am I beeing silly?

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  2. I'm doing just jam from my stock of canned stuff, because like you I am possessive of my pickles and other canned foods. I made sure we picked plenty of berries this year so I could make extra jam. I do hate giving away my canning jars so I'm attaching notes saying "Please return jars and lids if you want to get another jar next year", which I know sounds rude, but hey! The only people who get some of my "pantry stock" are my daughters(except for the 1 niece, who is getting 1 jar of dilly beans and one jar of pickled beets). Along with the jam, I am making some homemade cocoa mix and chocolate dipped plastic spoons, some "muddy buddys" (cereal covered in chocolate, peanut butter and powdered sugar), some homemade fruit leather, and some homemade biscuits or zuchinni bread or pumpkin bread. I don't think you're being a bit silly. We work too hard to give it all away.

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